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These are my favourite wagon type and having seen them over the past twenty years I have come to know them well. I have amassed a great deal of information and photographs on these wagons over the past 8 years. The information that you see here is a fraction of what I have.

My book on these wagons was published by Cheona Publications in 2002 and is available now from all good railway bookshops. The book covers the history of the wagons both in steam and the diesel era's. Sections on the PGAs and JEAs have also been included as well.


I have been advised that the six wagons at Tunstead are still alive and well courtesy of a good friend who works for EWS. After nagging him to check for me he has confirmed that they are still in the sidings next to the boundary fence. From his description it sounds as though the wagons have been remarshalled. Indeed I was able to confirm the position of the wagons from a passing railtour in February 2005 and all six hoppers remain in store.

NRM Preserved Wagon Update

At last, a picture of ICIM 19154 which went for preservation at the National Railway Museum at York. It was sent to the new NRM Locomotion Museum at Shildon, Co. Durham along with many other items of rolling stock. The condition of the wagon is as it was when I last saw it at Winnington Works back in 1999. No preservation work has been carried out and I doubt that any will in the near future. July 2005



On Sunday 25th January 2004, the Class Twenty Locomotive Society held a small event at the Midland Railway Centre's Swanwick Junction site to unveil the newly restored first built I.C.I. Hopper No. 3200. A small crowd gathered to witness members of the group posing by the wagon for the press photographer from the Derby Evening Telegraph and members of the public. I provided a small display on the wagons drawn from material from my book on the wagons. Phillip Sutton and Gareth Bayer were also present from Rail Express magazine so hopefully some photos will appear in a forthcoming issue. Unfortunately, the wagon was not in an ideal position for photography on what was mainly a sunny Sunday afternoon. Once their locomotives have returned from overhaul, attention will then turn to the other wagon 19036 and this will be restored to 1970s/80s period grey livery.


AL : Newly restored I.C.I. bogie hopper wagon No. 3200 seen in the autumn sun at Swanwick Junction, MRC after a lengthy overhaul and restoration. AR : Close-up of the replica Charles Roberts builders plate. BL : Close-up of the Cheshire Lines Committee registration plate affixed to the solebar. Note that it also shows the full company name and wagon number as well. BR : Applying the numerals to the lower bodyside panel. Note the black I C I letters which have also been cast for the wagon.

Thanks to Chris Stevenson and colleagues for kindly allowing me to reproduce the photos on the website.


Above : Chris Stevenson of the owning Class 20 Loco Society group is seen painting 19000 in green undercoat in readiness for the final coat of light grey to be applied the next day. It is intended to restore the wagon into a near authentic livery identical to that worn by the wagon when brand new in 1936. Replica builders plates and CLC registration plates have been cast as have the ICI and LTD lettering. These two pictures were taken on the 28th June when I was invited down to help paint the wagon. The inside of the wagon is a nice shade of blue and yellow at the moment !! It is hoped that a pair of 6 foot diamond frame bogies can be located to make the wagon even more authentic.

Above : Pioneer wagon BLI 19000 is seen at Swanwick Jn., on the Midland Railway Centre on the 27th April 2002. As you can see it is currently being primed in an assortment of colours. Both 19000 and 19036 are owned by the Class Twenty Locomotive Society who own three operational class 20 locos. Above : BLI 19036 also seen at Swanwick Jn on the same day is seen among other preserved wagons. The hoppers are mainly used in the formation of demo freights along the MRCs 3-mile line.


Above : Side of ICIM 19039 at Tunstead during 1998. Note the positions of the former I C I letters - normally they were affixed to the 3rd, 4th and 5th body panels i.e. in the centre of the wagon but 19039 and 19066 had them applied on the 2nd, 4th and 6th panels. This wagon had been in store since about 1997 and it is suspected that it was used at Tunstead to clear blockages from the stone loader. PH001A later JG001A; Charles Roberts, Wakefield 1936-53; Tare @ 23t; GLW 71t. (PFM)

Above : PHV ICIM 19072 - note the weathering effect of the limestone dust on the sides and underframe . This was one of the six wagons that remained at Tunstead after the clearout that took place during June 1998. This saw 36 wagons depatched to European Metals Recycling premises in Sheffield for scrapping. EMR paid 30,000 for the wagons and couldn't understand why they were cutting such good wagons up - in fact they took a lot longer to dispose of due to their robust design. Details as per 19039. (PFM)

Above : PHV ICIM 19146 sandwiched between 19039 to the left and 19072 to the right. This is one of the final wagons built by Charles Roberts for I.C.I in 1952 the final wagon being 19151. On the later Post-War wagons some minor changes took place notably on the body style and the use of Plate Frame bogies instead of Diamond Frame bogies. Again good lime dust weathering. Details as above. (PFM)

Above : JGV (PHV) ICIM 19163 seen passing Hazel Grove en-route back to Tunstead. This train had actually failed ! One of the 37s with low water and the other ran out of fuel !! This is one of the ex-John Summers / Britsh Steel hoppers that was built by Charles Roberts from 1953 to 1958 for iron ore traffic from Bidston Docks to Shotton Steelworks on the Wirral penninsula. These are built to a similar design to the ICI wagons seen above but are shorter in length by one foot and by nine inches in height. They were originally unfitted and classed PHO. After steel production finished at Shotton in 1980 these wagons became surplus and some were used to convey iron ore stocks to Llanwern, South Wales while the others were stored then possibly scrapped. However, ICI had lost thirteen wagons in accidents and to replace them ICI purchased thirteen complete wagons plus substantial bogie spares to bring their fleet back upto 152 wagons. Livery when ex-works was light grey but all wagons were a light brown colour. PH001B; Charles Roberts, Wakefield 1952-58; Tare 23t; GLW 71t.

Above : The best shot of BLI 19000 the pioneer I.C.I hopper I could get ! This is Winnington Works sidings alongside replacement PGAs to the right. At this point in time the wagon was on the Coke transfer duties and was fully loaded with coke. This wagon was fitted with Air-braking equipment during 1986 to see if this could be applied to the whole fleet but nothing came of it and the wagon had the equipment removed. It is hoped that this wagon can be saved for preservation as the type is of historical importance. Details as above. Winnington Works 1998.

If you would like to read more about the I.C.I. hopper wagons then my article can be found here -

The Brief History of the I.C.I. Hopper Wagons

There is also a listing of the locations of all the wagons - I.C.I. Hopper Locations